Encephalitis is an inflammation caused in the layers of tissue or membranes covering the brain. It is also known as acute viral encephalitis or aseptic encephalitis and in Hindi Chamki Fever. It’s a rare disease and nowadays in Bihar and eastern UP is causing havoc.
Encephalitis or Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) mostly affects children below the age of 15 years and young adults central nervous system.
Acute Encephalitis Syndrome is a group of clinically similar neurologic manifestation which is characterised as acute-onset of fever and altered mental status of patient like disorientation, delirium, mental confusion, coma, personality changes, weakness, new onset of seizures in a person of any age at any time of the year and other symptoms depends on the part of the brain affected by organism. It has been observed that the cases of encephalitis mostly occurred during April to July mainly in children who are undernourished and also those who have a history of visiting litchi orchards.
The main causative agents of acute encephalitis are the viruses like herpes viruses, enteroviruses, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, Eastern equine viruses, tick-borne viruses etc. It is also caused due to bacteria, fungi or parasites, chemicals, toxins and non-infectious agents.
– Herpes simplex type 1 virus is one of the more common and serious cause of viral encephalitis.
– Other causes of AES are Chandioura virus, mumps, measles, dengue; Parvovirus B4, Epstein-Barr virus S. pneumoniae etc. are other causes of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in sporadic and some time endemic outbreak in certain region of India.
– Japanese encephalitis virus has its endemic zones along the Gangetic plain including Eastern UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and parts of Tamil Nadu
Encephalitis or Acute Encephalitis Syndrome: Symptoms
– High Fever, headache, vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia,
– Stiff neck and back
– altered mentation
– Problems with speech or hearing
– Memory loss
– In severe cases seizures, paralysis and coma.
– Children suffering from encephalitis or AES need care in a hospital in ICU that is Intensive Care Unit to avoid any type of mishap.
Most cases of encephalitis or AES get cured or resolved in a few days but some severe case may take few weeks and some patient develops permanant disabilities.